AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe 19-year-old Zubac became so productive that he became the only teenager in the franchise history to log a double-double with at least 25 points. The Lakers (20-47) enter today’s/Wednesday’s game against the Houston Rockets (46-21) at Toyota Center with Zubac has already logged four double-doubles. And Walton plans to start Zubac for the Lakers’ remaining 15 games.During that time, Zubac insists he will focus less on his statistical contributions.“It doesn’t mean anything. Nobody cares,” Zubac said of his performance against Denver. “I would rather score five and win a game, have the team win, than score 25 and be blown out by 30.”Instead, Zubac plans to prioritize his long-term growth.“I want to play as much as I can and play as hard as I can,” Zubac said. “I want to get experience and get ready for next season, to earn my role for the next season and try to grow with the young guys. It’s going to be good to get some playing time with the starting five for the rest of the season. I’ll try to make the most of my minutes.” Zubac already has.He sat out against New Orleans on March 9 because of a bruised right quad. While that delayed Walton’s plans to feature him in the starting lineup, it did not take long for Zubac to phase himself back into the lineup. After posting 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting off the bench last Thursday in Phoenix, Zubac returned to the next day playing for the Lakers’ Development League affiliate, the D-Fenders. Zubac then cracked the starting lineup on Sunday against Philadelphia where he posted 10 points, six rebounds and a career-high four blocks.Zubac said he has “become used to this” heavy workload after spending the beginning of his rookie season switching between the Lakers and D-Fenders throughout the week.“He’s probably a little fresher than some of the other guys with the fact that he wasn’t playing big minutes and was out with the injuries for a couple of days there,” Walton said. “Zu is a very skilled player. It doesn’t surprise me where he has nights where he’s making shots.”It also did not surprise Walton on how Zubac responded with the role in defending multiple positions against Denver. While Walton made that move to strengthen Zubac’s versatility, the Nuggets eventually tried to extend the Lakers’ rookie center along the perimeter and shoot endless 3-pointers. Zubac told Walton he still wanted to switch to improve his perimeter defense.“He’s big, he’s physical and is very skilled,” Denver coach Mike Malone said. “He has a soft touch. I think he has a chance to be a really good player.”Despite showing those signs, however, Zubac lamented his progress did not match the team’s.“We didn’t compete; we weren’t ready,” Zubac said. “All the young guys are playing and we should all be happy to be on the court. We should compete every second out there and we obviously didn’t do that (on Monday). We should be ashamed. Next game we should go as hard as we can to correct this game.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error HOUSTON – The tone in Luke Walton’s voice still sounded agitated. After all, the Lakers’ coach had raised his voice and offered an undisclosed message yet again to his players about their lack of effort.One development, though, helped soften Walton’s frustration involving the Lakers’ 129-101 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday at Pepsi Center. Lakers rookie center Ivica Zubac posted career-highs in points (25) and rebounds (11) in his third career start.“Zubac was really good,” Walton said, slightly smiling.Just a little.